July 20, 2024

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Microsoft ASEAN AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2024

JOHOR BAHRU, June 11 – The Faculty of Computing (FC) successfully organized the Microsoft ASEAN AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2024 in collaboration with Microsoft Malaysia. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), the only universities from Malaysia selected to participate, joined other universities from Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam in hosting the hackathon. The annual Microsoft ASEAN AI for Accessibility Hackathon 2024, launched by Microsoft, is a challenge for tech enthusiasts across the Southeast Asia region to address real-world accessibility issues using artificial intelligence (AI). The event began with a welcoming speech by the Deputy Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Ts. Dr. Dayang Norhayati Abang Jawawi, while the Dean of FC, Prof. Ts. Dr. Wan Mohd Nasir Abd Kadir, delivered a speech to welcome the Microsoft delegates. Briefings about the hackathon were given by Ms. Daphne before the presentations began. The hackathon featured two tracks for submissions: one track exclusively for students enrolled in the Computational Intelligence (CI) course this semester, and another track open to all students, including first-year students, from any program. Ten groups, comprising 50 students in total, were selected to present their proposals during the final stage on June 11, 2024.


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                                 Hybrid event participation from Microsoft


The panel of judges for the hackathon included Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdul Rashid bin Husain, an Associate Professor from UTM, and Mr. Mohd Fuad bin Wahari, an Azure Cloud Solution Specialist from Microsoft. Virtual judges included Yugan Chithiraputhiran, Region Practice Lead for Intelligent Data Platform, Data, and AI at Avanade Southeast Asia in Singapore, and Mr. Moses Chew, from the Malaysia Association for the Blind (MAB) and former editor of the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia (NCBM).

The winning teams were assessed based on five criteria: consideration of users with disabilities, innovative solutions, technical proficiency, real-world impact, and presentation skills. The students received guidance from their CI course lecturers as the proposal was integrated into their CI project assessment. Four CI lecturers, Dr. Ruhaidah Samsudin, Dr. Sim Hiew Moi, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Haza Nuzly Abdull Hamed, and Dr. Shafaatunnur Hasan, along with Dr. Johanna Ahmad, mentored the students. All ten groups proposed solutions focusing on visual impairment, hearing disability, speech disability, and autism. The hackathon started at 8:30 AM, and the top three winners, Group Tech Angel (first place), Group 3i (second place), and Group Ziva (third place), were announced at 1:30 PM after their 10-minute presentations.


First Place: Group Tech Angels with the project title Mobitrainer:Personalized Rehabilitation and Exercise Assistant
First Place: Group Tech Angels with the project title Mobitrainer: Personalized Rehabilitation and Exercise Assistant


Second Place: Group 31 with the project title Seeing AI Pro
Second Place: Group 31 with the project title Seeing AI Pro


Third Place: Group ZIVA with the project title ZIVA (Zen Intervention for Vulnerable Autism)

All groups had the opportunity to provide feedback and answer questions from the panel. The working group and the judges, including the CI lecturers who volunteered their time to evaluate the projects submitted by the 50 groups, put a lot of effort into making the hackathon successful. It was truly a remarkable effort for an international competition, and appreciation goes out to all the FC admin staff who contributed their efforts throughout the hackathon.




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